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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 17, 2014 8:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

It is funny how your opinions/perceptions change . Last time I listened/watched this concert I was a touch underwhelmed . Going through it again (on cd, and the dvd) I am more impressed . Still think is might be a tad overrated, like most highly touted shows, but only a little .
The first set seems a little bit of a cold start, cool idea to start the show with Sugar Mag. into Scarlet>Fire , but this forward placement I think means they don't really build up the steam that they could, though they have their charms (the look on jerry's face during the solo in Sugar Mag...) . Rest of this first set standard for the era, maybe a little less inspired . Could it be they are tired ? They had just played a long ass concert the night before .
The second set, a bit better . Like the solo in Ramble on Rose, and I always like the jammed out (with Matt Kelly) Miracle .The Terrapin is a very fine version, and the Playing gets good (ok not 74 yada yada) . The drums segment goes on, and though it must have been fun as an event, Kesey's folks don't really add much musically . I know many love this NFA ,with the guests, but I sort of feel there are too many ingredients in the stew . I used to think Garcia was not allowing Cipollina any space, but really there isn not even that much space for Jerry ! The two harp players, Lee Oskar, and Matt Kelly , struggle to find space . It is big messy fun, but I don't find it the a great Grateful Dead NFA .
Now the third set, is one in which I have really turned around on . I think last time I went through this, I was comparing this Dark Star to the long deep 72 etc. versions, and what is with this short bit of the Other One ? But listening to it on it's own merits, this is pretty great music making ! Sort of a "pocket Dark Star" if you will , almost taking it back to it's early shorter versions . Glad to realize I was wrong .
The Wharf Rat, and St. Stephen are just wonderful . The only earthbound part of this set is the Good Lovin , but I guess all good things must come to an end . The CJ is ok, but the JBG is surprisingly great ! Jerry is really fired up .
The cd and dvd are out there, but the only streamable version is this AUD.
https://archive.org/details/gd1978-12-31.fob.akgd224e.holwein.motb-0130.106102.flac16
I was at the show at UCLA from the night before, and it is an interesting comparison . It is a more conventional show , with the standard 2 sets . The first while not having any big surprises , is really strong . A great Loser, and T. Jed should be mentioned . Just good ole Grateful Dead . The Second set is a little better on paper that reality but still pretty tremendous . It opens with a Miracle>Bertha>Good Lovin' . The Miracles from both shows are strong, I really like them in they pre-drums segment, I I miss the jam they give it on the NY show . Also , if your are gonna have a Bobby Good Lovin' , I like it here, rather than the end of show versions . I like this Scarlet>Fire more than the Winterland one, they sound more warmed up . The Playing, I like the next night a smidgeon better , The Shakedown is too short (nice guitar solo though) , but it makes 7th song in this pre-drums section ! Now after the regular drums section, Hamza el-Din with his Nubians and the Dead, gave us a 14 minuet visit to Egypt . A very substantial plus for this show ! Mickey talks about it in a set break interview (a bonus feature on the dvd) at the 12/31 show . For some reason they didn't repeat it . There is a cool little linking jam between this and the St. Stephen . I give the nod, to next night for that version . This one was the first one since 1/22/78, and the only one I saw . The NFA is a good circa 78 NFA , The GDTRFB is ok late 70's version, a little shot on grace . The Around, and Sat. Night have Lee Oskar playing this night, as well and they smoke .
https://archive.org/details/gd1978-12-30.123103.sbd.miller.flac16

Though I might sound snippy , I really enjoyed revisiting the famous Closing of Winterland show . I imagine if I went to this event, it would have be a life changing experience , as it was for Dick . And the Pauley Pavilion , the sort of dry run for the NYE show, should be be heard by anyone who likes the more famous show from the next night .

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Jun 17, 2014 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

I love 12-31-1978, to me it should be recognized as one of the great Dead shows/experiences of the period and perhaps it is the best Grateful Dead New Years show...great set list, nice playing, closing of Winterland, all the makings of a great show...I take this show for what it's worth and I appreciate it every time...12-30 is interesting and I've always loved the first set...TLEO is one of the great versions, Loser is a keeper

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Poster: c-freedom Date: Jun 19, 2014 1:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

regarding the Scarlet>Fire 12/31/78
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eZsNPlifSQ

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jun 17, 2014 6:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

Ok you've convinced me to give this a shot after a lot of years. I had this tape forever, mostly for sentimental reasons, and I never thought the show was that special (except for the 3rd set). I won a raffle ticket (the only thing I've ever won in my life) and went by myself, but I never thought it was life-changing. That I reserve for shows like the 73 Pauly Pavilion show. It was a terrific event though: a costume party with Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and the Dead at midnight. I did a great Groucho Marx and I have photos somewhere. Maybe one of these days I'll dig them up and post them for old times sake. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Poster: Pat Buzby Date: Jun 18, 2014 6:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

I noticed on the DVD Greg Errico is stuck on timbales throughout Not Fade Away, so when they are about to start Around & Around Bill lets Greg play his drums. Nice of him.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 18, 2014 9:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

I though that was cool also . Bill seemed to be in a good mood that night . At one point he gets off his drums, quickly slaps on his hat and does this lithe prance off stage .

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Poster: Incornsyucopia Date: Jun 18, 2014 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

You've convinced me to give this another chance. In my previous encounters with it I've found it underwhelming and highly overrated with a great looking set-list but highly mediocre playing and a distinct paucity of energy. Especially when compared to earlier in '78, like the Feb. 5, Uni-dome show, the second set of which was the 3rd disc of DP 18. The S>F and TOO blow the ones on 12/31/78 out of the water from my recollection. But I'll give it another try. For I'm sure a lot of reasons they seem really tired by late '78.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 18, 2014 7:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12/31/78 (also 12/30/78)

I think early 78 was almost a different period than mid-late 78, some special shows there (like the 2/5 show ) . I agree they seem tired in late 78-early 79 . I think they look tired in the film . The road and the weight of all the chemicals... But throughout this period, they did some really great music, some of it on they 2 shows , but the cracks were showing .